With every new season on the Fashion Week schedule, there’s a fresh debate about the models chosen to walk its prolific runway. It’s that the age old debate on diversity, one that won’t go away; models are too white, too thin and too pretty. It’s almost become a cliché to speak about it, but this kind of idealised depiction of beauty is still dangerous.
The runway is looked upon by Gen-Z as the epitome of perfection, when actually it’s just unattainable and unrealistic, and not something that we should be striving towards. And it goes further than just the runway, these unrealistic body standards are evident across all forms of mass media: magazines, billboards, TV advertising — this one representation of the ‘ideal body’ is omnipresent, but archaic.
But when you look a little beyond the famous, multi-million pound designers whose bags and perfumes dominate the Western world, there’s a collection of smaller, next generation brands seeking to make a change, by bringing broader variety into the casting of their shows. To put it bluntly, it’s the new designers that will influence the industry-wide change that is needed — and they’re already in the process of laying the foundations for this shift.